Do "all diseases come from mineral deficiencies"? No, that's not true: While some conditions stem from mineral deficiencies, it is "absolutely not" true that all diseases are caused by not consuming enough minerals, an expert in the study of vitamins and micronutrients told Lead Stories. To say that staying in an "alkaline way of eating" and avoiding "acidosis" is a way to prevent disease, as was stated in a widely viewed reel published on Facebook, is contrary to scientific evidence.
The claim originated in a video shared on Instagram on June 26, 2023, with a caption that read:
I got attacked by doctors, even recently people are trying to cancel my account saying that I'm giving miss information but yet I have hundreds of people that I've helped. Reversing, autoimmune disease, eczema, diabetes, and many other illnesses. Doctors treat and prescribe, yielding millions of dollars to big Pharma. I just tell you what to eat corresponding to your mineral deficiencies to help your organs function the way that they are supposed to whilst staying in an alkaline way of eating so the enzymes that break down bacteria thrive. Acidosis is the enemy as well as the things that cause acidosis. Holistic medicine and fasting with natural herbs is the forgotten cure, while synthetic scientific crockery floods our shelves creating thousands of side effects, creating more problems than they're fixing. I am here to spread love and wisdom and crush this tyrannical bullshit that we're all under whether you see it or not. 🕉️❤️
Below is how the video appeared at the time of this publication:
(Source: Instagram screenshot taken Tue June 27 20:05:00 UTC 2023)
The person in the video is identified in its associated profile as Zachariah Kalahiki, who provides a self-described "Alternative & Holistic Health Service." In the video, Kalahiki goes on to describe a supposed patient named Aaron who was said to have suffered from a condition known as epidermolysis bullosa, with Kalahiki specifically stating that "all diseases come from minerals." The person in the video also said that products available "at the link in my bio" cured "Aaron," and implied that those items would remedy other similar ailments.
Lead Stories spoke with Alexander Michels, a research associate with expertise in the health benefits of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and other dietary compounds at Oregon State University's health research Linus Pauling Insitute. Michels said that it is "absolutely false" that all diseases originate from mineral deficiencies, noting that the origination of similar claims has been falsely attributed to chemist Linus Pauling.
"No matter where [the claim] came from, we know that there is no truth to this statement. The origin of disease comes from many different sources that include many different molecules in the body -- not just minerals," Michels told Lead Stories in an email received on July 5, 2023.
Minerals are elements found in foods that humans need to function and develop properly, according to the National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements. Those necessary for human health include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium.
When a person doesn't consume or absorb enough minerals, an occurring deficiency may result in a related disease. For example, iron deficiency can cause the blood condition anemia whereas low levels of calcium may lead to osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle.
"For anemia, low levels of iron prevent the body from producing enough hemoglobin -- the protein that transports oxygen through the body. Low levels of calcium result in the poor formation of bone as we grow and eventually contributes to the severe bone loss seen in old age," Michels told Lead Stories.
However, not "all diseases" are caused by mineral deficiencies and there are dangers associated with consuming too many minerals.
"Nowhere in this video does he speak of the dangers of taking too many minerals. There are harms with overdoing minerals just as there are with any other component of our diet," said Michels.
Mineral deficiencies are caused by a number of reasons and often develop slowly over time. Restrictive diets like veganism or vegetarianism, for one, may lead to too few minerals being consumed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Second Nutrition Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition, which was published most recently in 2012, measured 58 indicators of diet and nutrition to determine the nutrient status of the U.S. population. It found that less than 10 percent of the population had nutrient deficiencies at the time, and those varied by age, gender, and ethnicity. That being said, the CDC reported in 2019 that only about 1 in 10 adults met recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake established by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The person in the video also makes several other false claims related to health and nutrition. Michels adds that there is "absolutely not" any truth to the "alkaline" and "acidosis" schools of thought regarding mineral deficiencies and their relation to disease development.
"While foods that are promoted in these dietary plans are often beneficial, it is not for their pH-adjusting capabilities as proponents of these theories suggest. In most cases, these plans are just putting a new veneer on established healthy eating patterns instead of providing new insight into how the body works," Michels told Lead Stories.
Similarly, synthetic foods are also not "creating thousands of side effects."
"In the video, his use of the word synthetic is used to refer to either vitamins or protein, both of which have been produced synthetically in some foods. For most vitamins, there are few differences between natural and synthetic forms of the vitamin - and those differences do not make them detrimental," Michels told Lead Stories, adding that it is worth noting that there are some detriments associated with eating a diet that consists of heavily processed foods.
Lead Stories has also reported that there is no evidence a Harvard Medical student discovered a "secret mineral" that can help someone lose "52 lbs in 28 Days," that the bottled drinking water DASANI does not contain lethal amounts of potassium chloride, and that cauliflower is not white because it has no minerals.